I'm not good at giving step by step instructions for art activities, mostly because I'm a "by-the-seat-of-my-pants" girl. I just throw all the art supplies in the middle of the table with a sample of what we're trying to create, and we have at it!
I was able to buy a package of 12-inch wooden dowels at the craft store--perfect size. Then I bought leather, feathers, leather strips, colored bands of yarn/string and washi tape in what I considered a Native American motif. I did hot-glue a piece of leather around each dowel before my grands got there as the glue gun can get so hot, and I didn't want any burned fingers. But the girls did the rest. We did tape the feathers on with just regular scotch tape, and then covered it all with the washi tape. I think they look really good. And my girls learned something about a Native American custom.
And you don't have to bring them out just for Thanksgiving. Talking sticks can be used for family meetings as well.....anytime of the year. Use them for saying grace at your house throughout the year--maybe for Sunday dinner at gramma's!
A bit of history about Talking Sticks~
A talking stick is a tool used by many Native American tribes when a council meeting is called. It is passed around from person to person. Only the person holding the stick is allowed to speak. Members in attendance are asked to bow their heads and close their eyes when someone is speaking so they can truly focus on the speaker's words. Many Native American children are taught to listen from age 3 and on, and that they must respect other's view point. According to the website, First People~the Legends, "The Talking Stick is the tool that teaches each of us to honor the Sacred Point of View of every living creature."
I've listed some websites you might find informative so that, in addition to sharing the creation of a talking stick, you can share with your grands the history as well. For example, it is symbolic what wood you use in the stick as well as the colors chosen. Animal skins are also an important choice right down to the horse hair you can see in my stick. (Curious about the use of horse hair? I was too--it represents perseverance.)
One last note~
I love doing crafts with my grands and I'm sure you do too. It's a relaxing time, and often a time when they feel comfortable to share their own thoughts and feelings with a grandparent. It's important to share customs and traditions. . . your own. . . as well as customs from other peoples with whom we share this world. Love this season. . . a time of thanksgiving and family!
"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart." Seneca
Tomorrow's blog? Thanksgiving crafts for the little guys--for parents, grandparents and GREAT grandparents with preschoolers! Watch for it!
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Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!